Jason Cordova's Website

This one time at Writer's Camp…

Good or Bad Advice?

One of the things an aspiring author never can get enough of is good advice. That being said, the 4th Annual Muse Online Conference is being held online from October 12 – 18, 2009 at http://www.freewebs.com/themuseonlinewritersconference/. If you’re looking for some good advice or want to talk to other authors who have books out there, feel free to stop by. I think they’re still allowing registrants, and I’m fairly sure it’s free.

Good advice is hard to come by in the industry. All too often you’ll have conflicting advice given by multiple authors. Though the temptation to look at which author sells the most books, the reality is that you should look at authors who write in your genre first. If you go and ask Dan Brown, for example, about writing a romance novel and how he sells them, he’ll probably look at you blankly for a minute before muttering something about “…different agents.”

Also, remember that most authors who are published want to see others get published too. Though it is a competitive market, it’s also one where contacts are just as important. Can you imagine what someone might have felt like had they given J.K. Rowling the cold should when she asked them for advice?

David Weber once had this young and relatively unheard of author get assigned to him by publisher Jim Baen. Weber, a big enough name that he didn’t need any young pup latching onto his coattails, took everything in stride and accepted the young, unknown author as his co-author for a new series.

Of course, if you know the man, then you know that the new series turned into one of Weber more popular book series, The Empire of Man, and that the unknown author later become New York Times bestseller John Ringo. Weird how things work out like that sometimes, huh?

But David, being both a professional and a solid teacher, assisted Ringo with good advice. Ringo wisely listened to the seasoned veteran and his sales took off.

There’s going to be bad advice given too. It happens. The best you can do is to listen as much as you can and try to go with your gut.

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